This was definitely the farthest afield I’ve gone with the Thursday group. Reports of siskins and waxwings tempted us north to Warren County and then some. First stop was in Warrensburg, looking for a flock of Cedar Waxwings with possible Bohemians mixed in. No sign of them, so off to Thurman Station where among the Eastern Bluebirds and Goldfinches, we heard the zippy zeeeeet! of Pine Siskins all around us.
Onwards and upwards again, past Stony Creek, along Harrisburg Road as it got narrower and less populated until it ended in an icy trailhead. Here it was mid-February and we had to go nearly 70 miles to find snow! I have no idea how we got there; maps seem to indicate we were on the other side of the river… Again we were surrounded by Siskins and little else but a quick flyover by a Bald Eagle and a Raven.
Back at Warrensburg, the Waxwing flock returned. Careful scrutiny may have disclosed a Bohemian Waxwing or two among the 50 Cedars, but given the poor light I don’t feel I can say I saw one. See the last photo in this post for a picture of both Waxwings in bright sunlight.
On the return trip I drove through Saratoga County along the Hudson, mostly seeing the usual ducks. Route 4 between Schuylerville and Stillwater is pretty desolate midweek, and when I saw a Raven at the side of the road I was able to pull over and watch him tear at a dead rabbit for several minutes before another car disturbed him. I see large crows and think they are ravens, but when I see a raven I wonder how I could have made such a mistake, there is such a difference in size, scale, and flight.
To complete my journey south I heard my first-of-year Red-winged Blackbirds calling. Males only — when I see the ladies approving their choice in real estate I’ll believe it’s almost spring.
Red-tailed Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, American Crow, Ring-billed Gull, Mallard, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Pine Siskin, Eastern Bluebird, American Goldfinch, Common Raven, Blue Jay, Cedar Waxwing, Purple Finch, Northern Flicker, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Wild Turkey, White-breasted Nuthatch, Canada Goose, Greater Scaup, Song Sparrow, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Merganser, American Black Duck, Herring Gull, Northern Mockingbird, American Widgeon, Red-winged Blackbird.
31 species, 5 new for the year.